Monday, June 7, 2010
What I Learned this Week: I don't know HOW to save
Yes. What I learned this week is that I don't know how to live like a poor person on a limited budget. When I first married my husband, we were tight financially and paying off debt. Then, we bought a house, got new furniture, and really were doing well for ourselves. I got my masters, was getting paid more and so was he, and then, we had a child, and this economy hit.
I had a reduction of 15 work days this year, had no raise, enrolled in a more expensive daycare (but worth it), and my hubby's work schedule was cut back to 4/5 days a week of work, for what was supposed to be a temporary situation, but has continued into 2010 as the norm.
Both of us just don't know how to live in reverse, not spending money. We've basically been able to get ourselves what we've needed and wanted for awhile. Before that, we were young and put things on credit (a major no-no, but we didn't know better and had to pay it off). We are having to think differently. How do you do that? Any suggestions?
I'm sure many others are feeling it too, and have been, but it just hit us hard this summer.
Some things to look forward to that will help:
*My son being potty trained (no more diapers!)
*My car paid off in Sept. of 2011
*Daycare cost going down by around $144/month in November
*I have become a good coupon shopper, adding CVS and Walgreens into the mix, slowly but surely. I've even rearranged my pantry to make more space for stocking up when there are good sales.
We're just having to cut our budget bare bones right now. My hubby suggested, "No gift budget." What? What about kids' birthdays? What about Christmas and family we have to buy for?
A question I ask myself. Can I live on a zero clothing budget until November? Silly little things like that that I'm just going to have to do. My hubby even mentioned I should turn off the water in the shower when I'm soaping up. No...not my warm shower! We're even contemplating not renewing our membership to Costco. We're skipping this month's shopping there to actually try to save money. Do you find you spend a lot there?
How do some of the rest of you change your way of thinking in situations like this? Some days I'm good. Really good, and think of how to save....then my old habits creep in and I go buy my son a few new toys because I think he needs the enrichment and creativity they have to offer. Hey, at least it wasn't for me, right? :) No...I need to change that way of thinking too.
What did you learn this week? For more, go to Julie's post.